Alexander Mining plc

February 24, 2011 07:00 ET

Alexander Mining plc to Build a Pilot Cobalt Processing Plant in Partnership With Anvil Mining at the Mutoshi Deposit in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Feb. 24, 2011) - Alexander Mining plc ('Alexander' or the 'Company'); (AIM:AXM)(TSX VENTURE:AXD) is pleased to announce the signing of a joint venture agreement (the 'JV Agreement') with Anvil Mining Limited ('Anvil') to build and operate a pilot plant (the 'Pilot Plant') to treat a total of 150,000 tonnes of cobalt ore at Anvil's Mutoshi deposit located in the Kolwezi region of the Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). 

The Pilot Plant will utilize Alexander's proprietary mineral processing technology (Ammleach®) to process ore from Anvil's Mutoshi deposit, for the production of cobalt metal.

Under the terms of the JV Agreement, the construction and development of the Pilot Plant is conditional upon Alexander obtaining financing. The JV will be managed by a joint operating committee; with technical specialists from both Alexander and Anvil working closely together. The construction programme for the Pilot Plant is to be produced and agreed by the joint operating committee.

Anvil will be responsible for providing a minimum of 150,000 tonnes of cobalt ore to the Pilot Plant as well as providing access and infrastructure support for construction of the Pilot Plant at Mutoshi.

Revenue generated from the sale of cobalt produced from the Pilot Plant shall be used first, to repay Alexander's capital and operating costs; second, to repay costs incurred by Anvil; and third, any remaining revenue is to be distributed equally between Alexander and Anvil.

The results from the Pilot Plant will form part of a decision by Anvil on progressing to a feasibility study for the development of a commercial-scale plant at Mutoshi.

Further technical and financial details are expected to be released in due course once determined. 

Matt Sutcliffe, Chairman of Alexander, said:

"We are delighted to enter into this JV Agreement with Anvil, one of the pioneers in successfully advancing the mining industry in the DRC. As already announced, numerous other parties have been in discussions regarding the use of AmmLeach® in the DRC, owing to the potential for significant capital and operating cost savings. The JV Agreement is a major advance for AmmLeach®. "

Anvil's Mutoshi Project lies 10km east of Kolwezi in the Katanga Province and is owned by Société Minière de Kolwezi sprl ('SMK'), an exploration and mining joint venture between Anvil (70%), and La Générale Des Carrières et des Mines (Gécamines), the DRC state-owned mining company (30%). Laboratory amenability testwork using AmmLeach® has shown high recoveries should be achievable. 

In March last year, Alexander released the findings of an independent technical expert's report, prepared by David Lunt of Stirling Process Engineering Pty Ltd., Perth, Australia, that was commissioned to examine the potential capital and operating cost savings for building and operating a typical 50,000 and 100,000 tonnes per year copper-cobalt mine in the DRC using AmmLeach®, compared with conventional processing technology using sulphuric acid. The results of this study indicated that under the two scenarios using heap leaching and agitated leaching, there should be substantial capital and operating cost savings by using the AmmLeach® technology. The savings ranged from US$94-177m (around 30%) for capital and US$29-51m (around 42%) per annum for operating costs.

Alexander is a mining and mineral processing technology company with a reputation for strong technical management, allied with financial markets expertise and experience. Through its wholly owned subsidiary MetaLeach Limited, it is solely focused on the commercialisation of its proprietary mineral processing technology. 

Certain of the statements made and information contained in this news release constitute 'forward looking information' within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. All information and statements which are not historical facts included herein, including without limitation, those regarding the Company's proposed joint venture with Anvil Mining Limited, the construction and development of the Pilot Plant, management's business strategy, and plans and objectives of management for future operations, constitute forward looking information. In many cases, forward looking information can be identified by words such as "may", "will", "should", "expect", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "potential", or other similar terminology. Such statements reflect management's current expectations regarding future events and involve numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties both general and specific to the Company and the industry in which the Company operates. Such assumptions, risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the ability of the Company to obtain financing to fund the joint venture and the construction of the Pilot Plan, the market conditions affecting the availability and terms of such financing, and the ability of the Pilot Plant to generate revenue once built. Should one or more of these risks and uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results, performance or achievements of the Company and the joint venture may vary materially from those described in this document. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward looking information. Except as otherwise required by law, the Company does not intend to and assumes no obligation to update or revise forward looking information, whether as a result of new information, plans, events or otherwise.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Contact Information

  • Alexander Mining plc
    Martin Rosser
    Chief Executive Officer
    Mobile: + 44 (0) 7770 865 341
    Alexander Mining plc
    Matt Sutcliffe
    Executive Chairman
    Mobile: +44 (0) 7887 930 758
    Alexander Mining plc
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    London, W1J 0DW
    +44 (0) 20 7292 1300
    +44 (0) 20 7292 1313 (FAX)
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